Hungry Tigers is a compelling and candid look into the subtle and not-so-subtle aspects of addiction. As one reviewer put it, "The author leaves the 'messy' parts in. This memoir pulls the veil off the ugly face of addiction and then stares at you with both honesty and humor." From experimentation with drugs in the late sixties to a series of shock treatments in a psych ward in the early seventies, the author openly relates the fears, anxieties and depression that led him there. Finding no relief through accepted medical means, he embarks on a lengthy journey of alcohol and drug abuse, culminating in an addiction to heroin that shatters any lingering illusions of a functional existence. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however, as this seemingly hopeless addict finds sobriety at a time when some heartbreakingly close to him find only devastation.
This memoir chronicles Swoboda's lifelong journey, beginning with the death of his close friend to a heroin overdose only hours before he himself checks into a treatment center. The book then traces back through the author's upbringing, his battles with depression, his drug use, his marriage and the devastating loss of two of their three sons to addiction-related causes, ten years apart. Their youngest son dies of a heroin overdose six years into Mr. Swoboda's sobriety, shortly after he had completed the initial manuscript of Hungry Tigers. Months later, the author adds this horrific tragedy to his book in a heart-wrenching epilogue. With the support of family and friends in recovery, he stays clean through this loss and continues to share his experience, strength and hope at treatment centers and prisons to this day.
With the subsequent loss of their two boys, the author co-founded a support group for parents and other relatives who have loved ones struggling with addiction. The group is called PACT (Parents of Addiction Children Together) and has been holding meetings twice a month since the summer of 2013.
Gary Swoboda's story is a heartfelt depiction of the underlying struggles that precede and accompany addiction, yet is sprinkled with humor throughout. His firsthand experience with addiction as well as having loved ones who struggled with addiction, gives a rare insight into both perspectives and offers a deeper understanding of a disease that is misunderstood by so many.
|File size:||816 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Gary Swoboda was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and continues to reside in the area with his wife, Judy. He’s been involved with treatment programs in hospitals and prisons for a number of years, sharing his experience and hope regarding recovery from addiction. "Hungry Tigers: A Candid Account of Addiction & Recovery" is his first book.